Rare image of Princess Margaret shows her softer side in dressed-down tropical look

A rare image of Princess Margaret showed her softer side as Her Royal Highness was pictured with her close friend Lady Glenconner

A rare image of Princess Margaret showed her softer side as Her Royal Highness was pictured with her close friend Lady Glenconner
(Image credit: Getty Images)

A rare image of Princess Margaret showcased Her Royal Highness's softer side as the Princess posed for a sweet photograph with her lifelong friend, Lady Glenconner. 

The Queen consort has a popular Instagram page titled the Queen's Reading Room, where Her Majesty shares books and stories and expresses her love of literature with her royal fans. The Queen has now used this platform to promote Lady Glenconner's new book, 'Lady in Waiting' about her time with the Royal Family.

On Monday, September 4, 2023, the Queen's Instagram account posted an old photograph of the Princess sitting with Lady Glenconner and her sons while they were in a relaxed holiday setting away from the public eye. In this image, the Princess looked far from her typical regal self as she dressed down in a multicoloured patterned shirt, with what looked like a red and white polka dot bikini top poking out from underneath and a cigarette in her hand.

The caption of the post revealed that the image was provided by Lady Glenconner, Princess Margaret's lady-in-waiting and close confidant. Explaining the context of the image, the caption revealed that those was a photo of the Princess, Lady Glenconner, and her sons - both of whom died in the 90s.

The caption revealed the Princess's unwavering loyalty to Lady Glenconner and how she supported her second eldest child as he suffered from AIDS. It was explained that in those days, due to lack of information about the disease, many people suffering from AIDS became pariahs, but the Princess continued 'hugging Henry, despite his illness.' 

The caption read, "When Lady Glenconner’s second son, Henry, was very ill with AIDS, many of Anne and Colin’s friends avoided the family. The disease was in its infancy and people were petrified. Princess Margaret was one of the few people that stayed loyal to Anne; coming to stay with her in Norfolk and hugging Henry, despite his illness. Henry eventually died of AIDS in 1990 and his brother Charlie from Hepatitis C in 1996. Loyal and unafraid, Princess Margaret has supported her childhood friend through the most difficult times imaginable."

Princess Margaret

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Lady Glenconner and Princess Margaret remained close throughout their lives and has spoken on many occasions about her close relationship with the Princess and how they were bonded by a shared 'naughty streak'. 

Lady Glenconner was three years old when she first met Princess Margaret and joked that the Queen - who was then known as Princess Elizabeth - was far more sensible and didn't approve of the cheeky duo when they were young. Of course in later life, Lady Glenconner was close with both of the royal women and had a lifelong bond.

Laura Harman

Laura is the Entertainment Editor for woman&home who primarily covers television, film, and celebrity news. Laura loves drinking and eating and can often be found trying to get reservations at London's trendiest restaurants. When she's not wining and dining, Laura can also be found travelling, baking, and hiking with her dog.